Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sally’s sourdough solution

Sally Hyde Lomax writes:  “I first made sourdough about seventeen or eighteen years ago when the children were all very small. I was inspired by a recipe in the Sunday papers from Gordon Ramsay. Personally I loved it and kept the culture going for quite a while, but the children hated it, and asked for “proper” bread. So eventually, I gave up, because Derek and I were getting fatter on it, and we were still buying standard bread for the children which we were probably also eating. We then later moved on to a bread maker which provided many years of packed lunches and lovely bread, but not sourdough.

However, a few years back, I had my gall bladder removed, and after that I annoyingly found that I could no longer eat wheat, or other gluten containing products, without a horrible reaction. At the same time the children started leaving school and the need for packed lunches diminished, and so the bread maker was used very little.

Then, recently three things happened. In the process of doing my research for my MA I went round to someone’s house for an interview, and was given a lovely piece of sourdough bread. Having been brought up to always accept hospitality graciously, I said nothing about my gluten intolerance, ate it and LOVED it. I waited the next day for a bad reaction, but found that I was absolutely fine. Then, I read an article about homemade sourdough being good for gluten intolerance, due to the probiotics. Obviously the article said quite clearly that it is not a cure all, but with longer proving times it appears to help, and gluten intolerants have gradually been able to successfully re introduce a little wheat to their diet. Finally, I chatted to a fiend who has a much more serious gut problem than me, which prevents her eating any dairy, caused by a very nasty infection she sadly picked up. She is currently looking at ways to fix the problem, which involve fully replacing the gut bacteria.

Suddenly the penny dropped. It was possibly the heavy duty antibiotics that I’d had for the horrendous infection of my pancreas, prior to my gall bladder removal, that had cleaned out my gut of all good bacteria, and thereby caused my problem.

And so a few weeks ago I started on a mission to replace the probiotics. I read lots more articles and decided that I was going to make a sourdough culture. I decided however to allow myself a bit of slack and made it with spelt rather than standard wheat. It is still wheat but it is less refined and a much more traditional version of the grain, and does appear to be a little more often tolerated by gluten sufferers.

I proudly grew my starter fur a week before the first loaf. I fed it carefully each day and nurtured it like a baby. And then I went about making the bread. The first few batches weren’t instantly successful as they were a little heavy, but I’ve persevered and now I have a method which appears to work. Paul Hollywood would possibly not yet approve, because it’s certainly not as light as standard bread, but the taste is delicious, and with sufficient proving times, I appear to be able to eat it. Hooray! It’s so much nicer than the average gluten free bread. “

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I met Sally who is British blogging about 15 years ago and now follow her on Facebook, from which this was copied.

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